Published On: Wed, Jun 30th, 2021

Professional tips for shifting to France

Shifting to France hasn’t been so known. So, if you are planning to commence a new life here, then here are some tips from the French Bank, CA Britline to help you make a smooth move. Life in France will change for UK citizens after Brexit (1st Jan, 2021). But there are a lot of things which will attract Britons and people from other nationalities to fulfill their dreams and live a new lifestyle. Fulfilling your dream has its own challenges. So here are some advice on major things to do in France: such as opening an account, getting a mortgage and sufficient health cover.

Open a bank account in France

Opening a bank account is a major step to live in France. However, it is easy and straightforward. Right from withdrawing money to currency transfers and funding your real estate purchase or organizing direct debits or saving accounts. A French bank account is necessary to continue your daily life in France.

Anyone can open a bank account distantly. All you need to do is provide the documentation online and you can open an account easily, without visiting the branch. If you own a small business here, then you should open a separate account for business transactions.

St. Peter’s Basilica photo/ Sébastien Bertrand from Paris, France

Bank cards

There isn’t any difference in the working of French banks from your home country. In France, people use debit cards while credit cards aren’t used frequently. With a carte de credit, you can pick a date for payment of your credit card to make the budget simple.

Banking services

The RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire) has all your French bank account details. So, if you set up direct debit for your utilities, then they will ask for your RIB. Cheques are also greatly used here. If you get a cheque as payment, sign and date in on the back side before paying it in your bank account.

Getting a mortgage

In comparison to the United Kingdom, property is cheaper in France. You also have a wide range of options to choose from right from houses needing renovation, homes in countryside and coastal locations, apartments in towns and cities, along with lands to make homes on your own.

However, if you talk about French mortgages, it is important to check their interest rates. The rates are low right now and fixed rate mortgage is available for a time period of 25 years. The mortgage can be accessed by residents and non-residents.

The lender will evaluate your income proof and calculate your household debt. It shouldn’t be more than 33% of your yearly income. Just get all your documents and apply for it online along with income proof, assets and expenses.

photo/ Jonny Lindner

Set up a business

Usually Britons moving to France are here to earn. They choose to do a business of their own and you have several legal structures allowing you to do this.

However before you shift, make sure you speak to a French accountant and find out the best options to set up a business. They will help you with all the paperwork and other tax based issues.


You have two kinds of policies here: “new for old” coverage majorly pays for you to buy replacements as new. The other is policy reimburses you, but you are deducted for the age of the item.

Car insurance

If you want to bring your UK registered car here, then you should keep a lot of things in mind along with your car insurance. You have around 6 months to make sure that your car abides by the French regulations like changing the headlamps of the car, keeping the car through its Controle Technique to get a carte grise.

You should need to get a French driving license, depending on the terms of the Brexit deal between Europe and the United Kingdom.

The process of vehicle registration and driving license exchange is done online.   

Health insurance

The French government funds 70 percent healthcare costs. The remaining is the responsibility of the person. You need to have insurance for health, home and property in France.  

Author: Dan O’driscol

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